United States President Donald Trump has warned Tel Aviv against allowing two Muslim members of his country’s Congress to visit Israel, following reports that the latter was considering a ban against Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.
Trump tweeted on Sunday that four congresswomen of colour who have been critical of his harsh immigration policies should just “go back” to where they came from
“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep Omar and Rep Tlaib to visit,” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.
“They hate Israel and all Jewish people, and there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” he added.
The US president last month had again targeted Omar, Tlaib and two other Democratic congresswomen of colour with racist attacks, saying the four politicians should “go back” to where they came from.
Tlaib, 43, who was born in the United States, draws her roots to the Palestinian village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa in the occupied West Bank. Her grandmother and extended family live in the village.
Omar, 37, who immigrated to the US from Somalia as a child, represents Minnesota’s fifth congressional district.
Trump’s tweet on Thursday followed reports quoting an Israeli official that Israel was considering barring a visit by the two Democrats who plan to tour the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and members of the Democratic party’s progressive wing, have voiced support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
No date has been formally announced for their trip, but sources familiar with the planned visit said it could begin at the weekend.